It’s time for a coun­cil tax over­haul

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil leader Ed­die McAvoy wants a com­plete over­haul of lo­cal tax­a­tion in Scot­land.

Speak­ing af­ter First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon’s an­nounce­ment on coun­cil tax last week, Coun­cil­lor McAvoy said the sys­tem had “run out of time.”

Ms Stur­geon re­vealed plans on Wed­nes­day for the four high­est coun­cil tax bands to pay more.

She also re­vealed the coun­cil tax freeze would end in 2017, but lo­cal au­thor­i­ties would be lim­ited to a three per cent rise.

Coun­cil­lor McAvoy said he hadn’t yet stud­ied the pro­pos­als in de­tail.

But, he added: “Coun­cil tax needs a com­plete over­haul.

“It’s been there for 20 years, and like all sys­tems, it even­tu­ally runs out of time.

“The coun­cil tax freeze has been un­fair on ev­ery­one. The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple are in lower bands while a mi­nor­ity in the higher bands have ben­e­fited the most for it.

“The re­duc­tion in in­come has then led to re­duced ser­vices used mainly by those in the lower bands. If it gives more pro­tec­tion to those in lower bands then that’s a good thing.”

An­nounc­ing the re­forms, Ms Stur­geon said the move would “pro­tect house­hold in­comes, sup­port in­vest­ment in our schools, make lo­cal tax­a­tion fairer and en­sure lo­cal au­thor­i­ties con­tinue to be prop­erly funded while be­com­ing more ac­count­able.”

But some unions say the pro­posal doesn’t go far enough.

Change Cllr Ed­die McAvoy

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